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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Boshoff, Carel Willem Hendrik

Academic and Afrikaner cultural leader:

Carel Boshoff was born on 9 November 1927, a second child from the second marriage of his father. He spent his early life on a cattle farm in the Waterberg. During this time he had met J G Strijdom and H F Verwoerd who frequently visited his father. In 1954, he married Anna, H F Verwoerd's daughter.

In 1948 he was awarded a BA, and in 1951 a B Divinitatis by the University of Pretoria. After completing his studies he became a missionary for the Dutch Reformed Church in Lebowa and Soweto. While working as a missionary he completed his MA degree in 1961 with the University of Pretoria. His dissertation was titled Streeksontwikkeling in die Sekorkoro-, Mamathola- en Mametsa-gebied deur die Departement van Bantoe-Administrasie en Ontwikkeling, sociologies en volkekundig beoordeel. (English: Regional development in the Sekokoro, Mamathola and Mametsa area sociologically and anthropologically evaluated by the Department of Bantu Administration and Development). He also served as Secretary of the Dutch Reformed Church in Southern Africa.

In 1967 he became member of the Theology Dept. at the University of Pretoria. He later left there to join the South African Bureau of Race Relations. Boshoff believed in the self-determination of different racial and ethnic communities. He was concerned that in South Africa, whites were not the majority and could not achieve self-determination because the majority would come to rule. He advocated the creation of black 'homelands' creating in the rest of SA territory an apparent white majority to effect their self-determination. Racial mixing was not acceptable to him.

In 1980 he became the chairman of the Afrikaner Broederbond, but later because of his support for SABRA opposition of the 1983 constitutional reforms he stepped down as chairman and resigned his membership. In 1984 he played a prominent role in the formation of the Afrikaner Volkswag, a conservative organisation that hoped to rescue Afrikaner cultural identity from the political crisis that followed the constitutional bill of 1983. The crisis was a reflection of serious tension within the higher Afrikaner establishment. These crises were related to race relations and reforms relating to race relations. The Afrikaner Volkswag believed in complete political and cultural independence of the Afrikaner community.

The Afrikaner Volkswag evolved into Afrikaner-Vryheidstigting (Afrikaner Freedom Foundation, Avstig), currently still headed by Professor Carel Boshoff. The movement did not participate in the CODESA in the 1990s. In 1993, Nelson Mandela met Carel Boshoff and discussed the question of Afrikaner identity and a homeland in the new South Africa. Nelson Mandela expressed sympathy with Boshoff's concerns and invited him to submit their proposal to the Convention for Democratic South Africa.

Realising that the new South Africa was not going to accommodate an Afrikaner homeland, Professor Carel Boshoff retreated with his following to a small town in Orania, Free State where they hoped to create an Afrikaner homeland that would protect the Afrikaner cultural heritage. In the words of Professor Carel Boshoff: "Afrikaners who live in the rest of South Africa must know they are doing it at their own risk. They should realise their cultural heritage is under serious threat" (Grobler, 2004).

Sources: Grobler, F. (2004). The Afrikaner homeland - a fading dream, http://iafrica.com/news/saelectionfocus/features/302110.htm posted 12 February 2004.

van der Merwe, H. & Johnson, T. J. (?) "Restitution in South Africa and the Accommodation of an Afrikaner Ethnic Minority: Political Styles and Cultures." The International Journal of Peace Studies, http://www.gmu.edu/academic/ijps/vol2_2/merwe.htm


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